Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
good news, and I accordingly hurried on to the front.  There was a marked respect shown me by the civilians located at Fort Reno, something unusual; but I hurried on to the agency, where all was quiet, and thence to ranch headquarters.  There I learned that a second attempt to burn the range had been frustrated; that one of our boys had shot dead a white man in the act of cutting the east string of fence; that the same night three fires had broken out in the pasture, and that a squad of our men, in riding to the light, had run afoul of two renegade Cheyennes armed with wire-nippers, whose remains then lay in the pasture unburied.  Both horses were captured and identified as not belonging to the Indians, while their owners were well known.  Fortunately the wind veered shortly after the fires started, driving the flames back against the plowed guards, and the attempt to burn the range came to naught.  A salutary lesson had been administered to the hirelings of the usurpers, and with a new moon approaching its full, it was believed that night marauding had ended for that winter.  None of our boys recognized the white man, there being no doubt but he was imported for the purpose, and he was buried where he fell; but I notified the Indian agent, who sent for the remains of the two renegades and took possession of the horses.  The season for the beginning of active operations on trail and for ranch account was fast approaching, and, leaving the boys to hold the fort during my absence, I took my private horses and turned homeward.

CHAPTER XXI

THE FRUITS OF CONSPIRACY

With a loss of fully fifteen thousand cattle staring me in the face, I began planning to recuperate the fortunes of the company.  The cattle convention, which was then over, was conspicuous by the absence of all Northern buyers.  George Edwards had attended the meeting, was cautious enough to make no contracts for the firm, and fully warned me of the situation.  I was in a quandary; with an idle treasury of over a million, my stewardship would be subject to criticism unless I became active in the interests of my company.  On the other hand, a dangerous cloud hung over the range, and until that was removed I felt like a man who was sent for and did not want to go.  The falling market in Texas was an encouragement, but my experience of the previous winter had had a dampening effect, and I was simply drifting between adverse winds.  But once it was known that I had returned home, my old customers approached me by letter and personally, anxious to sell and contract for immediate delivery.  Trail drovers were standing aloof, afraid of the upper markets, and I could have easily bought double my requirements without leaving the ranch.  The grass was peeping here and there, favorable reports came down from the reservation, and still I sat idle.

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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